Mad Skillz_old
Congrats to those from the Badger who have been named the Capital Times' spring athletes of the year ([link=][/link]):

Boys Golf
Nick Engen, McFarland senior

It's hard to get Nick Engen excited.

Light a firecracker under his chair while he's asleep and he might open one eye and smile. If he's in a crowd of screamers, he's the one who'll stay quiet.

"He is so calm," said Engen's mother, Deb. "He's very mellow. He's not nervous."

Those are wonderful traits for a golfer and Engen proved it this year as the McFarland senior worked his way to the WIAA State Boys Golf Tournament Division 2 individual title.

"I always try to stay positive," said Engen, who earned medalist honors with a 36-hole total of 1-over par 145 at University Ridge earlier this month. "You're going to hit bad shots. That's just the game of golf."

Engen needed that positive attitude when he severely injured his back as a freshman playing football for the Spartans. Deb Engen said her son broke a vertebrae in his back.

"At that time we didn't even know if he could play golf for sure, but he came back," she said.

The injury turned out to be a blessing because Engen gave up playing football and concentrated more on playing golf and basketball. He had recovered by spring of his freshman year and made the first of four trips to the WIAA state golf tournament.

Each year Engen climbed higher on the leaderboard until he finally won it. Along the way, he caught the eye of University of Wisconsin men's golf team coach Jim Schuman, who invited Engen to walk on to the team this fall.

Engen readily accepted the offer.

"He's a quality golfer and a quality young man," said McFarland coach Gary Ofterdahl. "I believe he represents the state championship individual honor really well."

Chelsey Ewing, Verona senior
Chelsey Ewing's transition to collegiate softball will be made easier by the fact that the Verona senior is somewhat accustomed to the philosophies of Winona State softball coach Greg Jones.

Jones, a Platteville native, is the cousin of Verona softball coach Chad Tuescher. And, according to Ewing, besides the family connection, Tuescher and Jones share similar coaching styles.

"He works during practices the same way (as Tuescher) and likes long practices," Ewing said of Jones, who recently concluded his fifth season coaching at the Minnesota school. "That's one thing I was looking for.

"In the high school season you learn winning is a big part of it and so I wanted to go on to a winning team. I wanted that same kind of drive and (desire) to succeed."

Ewing is joining a Winona State program that is building a tradition of success. The Warriors finished 2005 with a 41-16 record, landed a berth in the NCAA Division II North Central Region tournament and earned a third-place finish.

In her four years playing with the Wildcats program, Ewing was a catalyst in Verona's achievements. The pitcher helped lead the Wildcats (21-3) to their fifthstraight WIAA Division 1 state tournament appearance earlier this month and was selected to the first team of Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association's all-state squad.

Ewing's success came as no surprise to Tuescher. The first-year coach said she was a role model to her teammates throughout the season and was steadfast with her preparation and play.

"I think the seniors have taken it upon themselves, and Chelsey in particular, to do some things," said Tuescher. "There has been that extra motivation and sense of purpose.

"I would never want to play poker with her because she keeps her emotions so well in check. She is able to maintain that even keel during the course of a game."

Ewing threw 13 shutouts and gave up only 10 earned runs during the 2005 season. She finished with an 18-3 record and had 252 strikeouts for Verona.

Despite finishing her prep career with loss in the state semifinal for the third straight season, Ewing admitted that she was never disappointed with the Wildcats' performance at state.

Through thick and thin, Ewing said she will always be proud of the Wildcats' accomplishments.

"We just went out and played for ourselves," said Ewing. "We heard so much (about our record at state). It wasn't on our minds constantly. When it comes to game time you just play from the heart."

Boys tennis
Danny Glinert, Madison Edgewood junior
The end result is all the matters when Madison Edgewood's Danny Glinert describes his 2005 campaign.

Two months ago, Crusaders coach Mark Chullino believed his star player could enter the state tournament undefeated and improve on a sixth-place finish from a year ago.

Only one of his two predictions panned out.

Though his final record included a pair of losses - to Verona's Kevin Fawcett and Shorewood's Jack Schiro - Glinert avenged both on the tournament trail en route to winning the WIAA Division 2 state title at Nielsen Tennis Stadium earlier this month.

"This wasn't a perfect season for me by any means," said Glinert, who finished his junior season with a 26-2 record. "There were a few bumps along the way."

For Glinert, the turning point and momentum needed for his tournament run came during the Badger Conference tournament. Not only did Glinert capture his third consecutive singles title while leading his Crusaders to a first-place finish, he downed Fawcett, who had defeated him 6-3, 6-1 just a week before the tournament.

"I really had to win that match," Glinert said. "He beat me really easily, so it was a huge win for me mentally heading into the (state) tournament."

Glinert entered the WIAA state tournament as the No. 3 seed in the Division 2 bracket and cruised into the semifinals, dropping only six games before a much-anticipated rematch with Schiro.

After losing to Schiro earlier in the year, Glinert quickly took control of the match and cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 straight sets victory over the No. 2 seed.

"Beating Jack in the semis was good because I haven't beat him in a few years," said Glinert, who also led the Crusaders to the team state tournament this year. "After that match, I really felt that this tournament was mine to lose."

Glinert moved on to face undefeated and No. 1 seed Mick Kelly of Neenah Saint Mary Central in the state final. After losing the opening set, he rebounded for a 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory to become the first Crusader to win a WIAA tennis title.

"I'm just enjoying this moment right now," said Glinert, who has taken the last two weeks off from the game of tennis. "I'm not thinking about a repeat next year or even where I am going to play on the college (level). I'm just going to enjoy the summer."

Boys track and field
Andrew Lacy, McFarland junior
Andrew Lacy is focused on improving his time on the track.

But the McFarland junior said it is competition that fuels his drive to be the best.

"It's about whoever wins the race, but it's more fun to race against the best," said Lacy, who will miss his rivalry with recent Monroe graduate Matt Barrett.

Lacy was disappointed when Barrett, a University of Minnesota recruit, suffered a stress fracture before the Badger South Conference meet and was sidelined for the rest of the year.

But it will be Lacy who other area distance runners will compare themselves to in the upcoming year after he added to his family's legacy at the WIAA Division 2 state track and field meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.

That legacy includes his father, Steve, his brother Tim, and uncles Jeff, Tim and Bill Hacker, who all forged successful prep careers in both track and field and cross country.

Andrew Lacy, who was second as a sophomore, cruised to the Division 2 3,200-meter title on June 3 in a time of 9 minutes, 25.41 seconds. He finished second in the 1,600 the following day to help McFarland to a seventh-place finish in the Division 2 team standings.

"It's difficult when the expectations are there for you to win," said Lacy, who swept conference, regional and sectional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 and also won the Division 2 individual state cross country title last fall. "But it's a gift and I intend to do well."

McFarland coach Bruce Fischer said Lacy hasn't let his success go to his head.

"He's very coachable. He's never been arrogant. He's classy when he wins and loses," Fischer said. "His success comes down to steady consistency and getting the work done."

Lacy is looking forward to a successful senior season.

"I run for the team before I run for me," Lacy said. "You want to set a good example for your teammates so they can understand what it takes to win."

That is why Lacy wants to end his prep career the way it began.

"We won the state cross country title my freshman year so I began my high school career as a champion," Lacy said. "That is the way I want to go out."
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Congrats Chels! Her and Carlo had a nice little artcle in the Verona Press this week too!
"Through every dark night, theres a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up.... and handle it." - 2pac
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Congrats to Nick and Andrew! McFarland was represented very well this spring
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Mad Skillz_old
Well, Kevin Feiner from Sun Prairie was the baseball pick. It's tough to argue with that choice.
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